Infrastructure and Transport

Southern Bilbao Metropolitan Highway

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Variante Sur Metropolitana de Bilbao Variante Sur Metropolitana de Bilbao Variante Sur Metropolitana de Bilbao
Variante Sur Metropolitana de Bilbao
Variante Sur Metropolitana de Bilbao
Variante Sur Metropolitana de Bilbao
  • Client: INTERBIAK (Agencia de Carreteras de Bizkaia)
  • Country: Spain
  • Start date: 2003
  • Ending date: 2012
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SENER has developed the design and the site supervision of works for an Urban Highway.

The Southern Bilbao Metropolitan Highway is a toll highway designed to channel the long distance traffic in the surroundings of the metropolitan area of Bilbao, so easing the high capacity road network and especially the A-8 motorway, which withstands more than 130,000 vehicles per day. 

The new planned highway will run around the metropolitan area and will have a total length of 36 km, between Muskiz and Amorebieta-Etxano. Projected speed is 120 km/h and new junctions are planned, as well as the redevelopment of four existing junctions. The type section consists of two carriageways with three lanes in the central sections, and two carriageways with two lanes in the end sections. 

Since the highway has to cross through the mountainous area near Bilbao, 14 twin tube tunnels are planned up to 4,350 m in length, as well as the expansion of an existing 675 m long cable-stayed viaduct. 

Safety in tunnels has been seen as a key element in the design of the highway. The design has followed the highest standards, resulting in a provision of all types of facilities: lighting, supplying energy, ventilation, protection against fire, security, surveillance and control, ITS, etc. 

The project also includes six toll areas, as well as a control center from which the tunnels and toll system facilities are managed. 

Environmental and urban integration aspects have also been deemed as important in view of the characteristics of the area in which the project is developed.

The first phase of the highway (stage IA), 16 km long, became operational in 2011. It includes five twin-tube tunnels up to 2,300 m long, with a total length of 8 km, and five viaducts, with a total length of 1,570 m. 

SENER has participated in the development of the project from its origin until the commissioning of the first phase, carrying out the following activities:

  • Comprehensive project management.
  • Feasibility study.
  • Alternatives study.
  • Preliminary design.
  • Study of safety and risk analysis in tunnels.
  • Studies of operation and maintenance.
  • Detailed Design and Site Supervision of Works of phase IA facilities.

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